Native American Film in Class

Posted by Speakeasy News > Thursday 08 September 2016 > Webpicks

Songs My Brothers Taught Me takes place on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation (South Dakota). It shows the life of  Lakota Indians today.

The film's website has concise information about the Lakota people who acted in the film, and a director's statement.


The trailer provides plenty of images which can challenge pupils' images of Native Americans — it is not until almost the end that we see some traditional costumes and dancing at a pow wow, and the rodeo scene and cowboy hats should give food for discussion.

In this interview Chloe Zhao and Forest Whitaker (producer) talk about the film. The sound quality isn't fabulous but there are nice snippets were Zhao discusses how she came across Pine Ridge, and gained the trust of the community, and how she resisted pressure to cast "one of the boys from Twilight" rather than local people in the film.